Talk:Marc Chagall

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I and the Village[edit]

How in the world is his most famous work not even mentioned in the body of his article? What about his Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers?

Google Logo For July 7, 2008[edit]

Image:MarcChagallGoogleLogo.gif Today, in honor of Marc Chagall's birthday, the nice people at Google have changed their logo for a day. I was about to make a change in the article relating to this honor, only to find out it had already been done. So, I have uploaded the logo and placed it in the article, I hope this will brighten up the article and this very special day that honors a very special artist. I, for one, think that having your own Google logo is something to be proud of, and, if he were still alive today, I am sure Marc would have been happy. WebberTakito 15:46, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Chagall Collections[edit]

Here is a vast collection of Chagall's work: Chagall fine art gallery I personally find it valuable and appropriate to be added to the external links. Thoughts on this?

I say that any link providing a vast gallery full of pictures drawn by a specific person always helps, and maybe even not in the links section, but somewhere inside the article. Oh, and sorry if the Google logo crossed the line for this section of the talk page. WebberTakito 15:51, 7 July 2008 (UTC) Czuttel (talk) 16:20, 28 January 2011 (UTC) Could a responsible party please add to Marc Chagall's information that a most favored one of his works includes the three stained glass windows in the Fraumuster in Zurich, Switzerland, a highlight for visitors to the city. The oral history I was given was that many Swiss citizens objected to a Jew contributing to a Christian cathedral. I was there in the mid-80s, and a bank of chairs was set before the windows to accommodate the many visitors coming to experience how the images seem to take on movement and rise upward. I belive the Cathedral might also have posted special hours just to visit the windows. 16:20, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

A cross reference to the Widipedia page on the Fraumuster might also enrich the entry on Marc Chagall. Czuttel (talk) 16:24, 28 January 2011 (UTC)


Marc was born in Vitebsk (Віцебск) city. Now the city is in Republic Belarus. At Chagal time they (both the city and Belarus) belonged to Russian Imperia. I think, it's correct to put:

--ZmiLa 13:13, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I don't agree with the Segal part. His name was Shagalov, and it later became Chagall. It was never Segal. JackofOz 03:07, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
I believe the name Segal is accurate and should be restored. According to this review of a recent biography from JBooks and these notes from an exhibition of his etchings, Chagall was born Segal. This Yiddish name was then Russianized into Shagalov (the composition of his Russian given names, Moshe + the patronymic Zakharovich, seems to be a translation of his Hebrew name, which would most likely have been Moshe ben Zechariah...), before finally evolving into the French-sounding Chagall. Defrosted 07:02, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

We need to say what his legal name was at the time of his birth. With the 3 versions we have at the moment, I'm still confused.

  • Maybe Segal was his family's traditional Jewish name, but if the law required a Russianised name, then that was the name he had according to the law. We should give prominence to that. We currently give 2 versions of the Russian name, Шагалаў (= Šahałaŭ), and Shagalov. Which one is it?
    The former version is Belarusian not Russian. The Russian spelling is Shagalov (Cyrillic: Шагалов). --Ghirla -трёп- 10:54, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Or is it the case that his birth name was Segal, and only later became Russianised? If so, we should say that. JackofOz 10:47, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
    Russian Wiki gives his official surname as Segalov (Cyrillic: Сегалов). Isn't it confusing? --Ghirla -трёп- 10:59, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Maybe he should have changed his name to Tchaikovsky.  :) -- JackofOz (talk) 23:12, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Virginia Haggard[edit]

Curious that Virginia Haggard was not mentioned in the article. She was his companion and had a child with him. Source: "My Life with Chagall: Seven Years of Plenty" by Virginia Haggard.

(The above unsigned comment was posted by User: at 02:50, 29 November 2005).

It's curious all over. ( 11:42, 15 March 2006 (UTC))

Chagall Foundation ?[edit]

Is there a Chagall Foundation a group which owns the rights andso forth?


Don't know if they "own the rights" however the Comité Marc Chagall in Paris is the only authenticator of his works. ITFish 15:10, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

--Chagallgolem (talk) 09:02, 22 November 2007 (UTC) Le comité Marc Chagall 35, quai de l'horloge 75001 Paris The commitee deliver certificat of authenticity only for paintings, gouaches and drawings, not for identification for lithographs, etchings and posters (graphic works). For the graphic work of Chagall, veru useful site : on line complete catalogue of the printed graphic work (2000 images) and expert advices for Chagall's lithographs, etchingsa nd woodcuts —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chagallgolem (talkcontribs) 09:14, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Symbolism in Chagall's work[edit]

Chagall himself denies intended symbolism in his works, why post a list of his supposed meanings? That should be left purely to each viewer to interpret as it's not the artist's original intent.

"If a symbol should be discovered in a painting of mine, it was not my intention. It is a result I did not seek. It is something that may be found afterwards, and which can be interpreted according to taste." --Marc Chagall

Francesca1881 03:37, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree, Francesca1881. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cantkant (talkcontribs) 10:45, 11 April 2008 (UTC)


The are some inconsitencies with his name.

The Russian name given in the introduction in Cyrillic and transliterated is "Mark Shagal". But the Belarusian is "Moisha Shagalow". Later in the Biography section it says he was born "Moishe Shagal", which was rendered as "Mark Shagalov" in the Russian language. Clearly there are some mix-ups here.

Basically Moishe and Moisha are the Russian and Belarusian variants respectively of the name Moses. Shagalov is the Russian spelling of his surname Shagalow is the Belarusian spelling of his surname. Shagal was the Yiddish variant.

Now, as far as I'm aware, he would have been known as Shagalov / Shagalow officially in the Russian Empire, but as Shagal among the Jewish community there. I assume he used the Yiddish variant upon leaving the Russian Empire. The problem then is after he became famous in France, his name re-entered the Russian language as Shagal (without the -ov suffix). I am just making educated guesses here, does anyone know for sure if this is correct and correct the article as appropriate. (talk) 18:21, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

This issue has been raised before, without result - see "Birth place" above. -- JackofOz (talk) 23:15, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

La Mariée[edit]

Does anyone have a confirmed source for the year of origin of La Mariée? Its article, image and the List of Chagall's artwork have it at 1950, but an editor recently tried to change the year to 1927. I did a Google search, and while some entries came up for 1950, others (including many on eBay) came up with 1927. I haven't found a source I feel is reliable or "official" and I've even tried "looking inside" some Marc Chagall books on Whatever the correct answer, we should provide a reliable and verifiable source to prevent future inquiries. — TAnthonyTalk 22:47, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

His Nationality[edit]

Since Belarus was a part of Russia and Soviet Union during all his lifetime, and he was also a jew not an ethnic belarrusian, I think his first nationality must appear as russian. (talk) 15:51, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Ok, but then why russian? And not kazahk, lithuanian, estonian or any other nationality from any other country which was a part of USSR? Soviet is not equal to russian. It's just a common "speaking" opinion of non-intellegent people with poor aducation which is, i beleive, unacceptable in wikipedia. All people living in the republics of USSR kept their nationalities. If you do not want to recognize a jew born in Belarussian Republic of USSR as a Belarusian you should say that he was a jewish person born in the USSR (namely BSSR) and not Russian anyhow. Istvan Gyulai (talk) 20:27, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Similarly, "of Jewish origin" seems to suggest he was not Jewish (i.e. denounced it), I don't believe this is the case or indeed intended. Perhaps "a Russian Jew from Belarus" would be most accurate? Oboler (talk) 20:28, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Jewish under nationality should definitely be changed. Because there is no nation named Jew. That may be marked as his religion or even his ethnicity, but for purposes of accuracy it should not be listed under nationality. Oh, and his nationality should be listed as russian because the area he was born was under the Russian Empire at the time of birth. Daoriginoograpebeer (talk) 05:46, 2 May 2009 (UTC) DaOriginooGrapeBeer

Hi everyone,

The nationality was incorrectly coming as "Russian" and this have been corrected to "Belarusian-Jewish", which reflects both facts- where the Master was born and his heritage. The fact that Belarus at the time was under Russian Empire occupation does not make everyone in that territory Russian. Similarly to other cultural ethnics like Chechnya, Korelia etc. And likewise to USSR which kept its territories with loads of civil victims. No offence to the Russians, but let's be cool about our bleeding history.

Respectfully, K — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kupalinka (talkcontribs) 08:55, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

I changed it back to "Russian-French". As explained, Belarus was part of the Russian Empire. Even if he would born in Alaska, he would be still Russian, and not American, as it was part of the Russian Empire. Chechnya, Korelia, etc also belongs to Russia, that means his nationality would be still Russian. Regards.--♫Greatorangepumpkin♫Heyit's me 21:40, 9 October 2011 (UTC)
Every Russian has a citizenship and a nationality. If Chagall was ethnically Jewish in Russia, his nationality would be Jewish and his citizenship would be Russian. It doesn't matter what his religion is. Religion doesn't come into it. Santamoly (talk) 05:59, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

I have removed the ethnic label altogether. It is to controversial - should be something like Jewish-Lithuanian-Belarusian-Russian-French-American. It is just too long and controversial. Does not worth the edit warring. Alex Bakharev (talk) 02:14, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

persistent vandalism[edit]

Perhaps this article should be locked given the apparent persistent vandalism. How does one report such incidents? (Article was locked as I was writing this :) Moretz (talk) 07:20, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Vandalism#How_to_respond_to_vandalism is the section you're looking for. Hope that helps. (talk) 10:54, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm sure it won't be as big of a deal tomorrow, after Google changes back their logo. Those articles always seem to be a target for vandals. Hpfreak26 (talk) 13:17, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

what does it mean in turkish? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:43, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Birth date 7 July 1887 - Julian or Gregorian?[edit]

I’m trying to establish whether 7 July 1887 is a Julian or Gregorian date, or something else, but there’s very little I can find about it.

This appears to discuss the issue, but it’s corrupted and not very readable. The google summary quotes ”According to the official family birth certificate, MovshaShagal was born on June 24, 1887. 3S He added thirteen days to June 24, and got the magic figures …”

If he was really born 24 June 1887 (Julian), the correct conversion to Gregorian would be to add 12 days (19th century) and arrive at 6 July 1887.

This is a horoscope based on what they claim is the Gregorian date 7 July, and at 3 pm (how the heck they know this is beyond me). They use our article for their text, so that seems to be their source for the date.

Does anyone have better information than this? -- JackofOz (talk) 23:35, 9 July 2008 (UTC)


The above link is now fine and is very revealing. It says he was born 24 June 1887 (Julian), which corresponds to 6 July 1887 Gregorian, not 7 July. Making this basic sort of error in converting dates between calendars was common enough. However, virtually all other sources now quote the apparently wrong "7 July" date, but virtually none of them say which calendar it's from, which says something about their sense of forensic inquiry. Is this sole source enough to supplant the weight of other "reliable" sources? -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 12:04, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Well, since the other "reliable" sources just repeat whatever the other "reliable" sources say, they're not reliable after all. I've changed the dates and explained the story. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 02:31, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Converted to Christianity[edit]

I work for a Jewish university and it was recently brought to my attention (as webmaster, probably to get us to post a news article or something) that Chagall converted to Christianity and is now buried in a Christian cometary. Here's the email I received for reference:

"I would like hereby to bring your attention to the fact that Chagall converted to Christianity and is buried in a Christian cemetery. It is strange that he is being touted in several places right now. His later work was saccharine and he traded in on a sentimentality of the lost world of east European Jews from which he came but for which religious tenets he seems to have had little respect. He has been recognized as a Jewish artist and his work in in places like the Lincoln Center as though this honors Judaism, but it just put money into Chagall's pocket."

Kind-of biased, but the simple fact that he converted should be looked into and added to this Wiki.

Jsovine (talk) 17:03, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

There is no record of him having converted. The very idea is absurd. He spent his last years living in a small artist colony near Nice, and there were no Jewish cemetaries around. His wife arranged to have him burried there for convenience. His gravestone does not show a cross.

On the web site of the German city of Mainz, they state, "St. Stephen’s is the only German church for which the Jewish artist Marc Chagall (1887 - 1985) created windows." [1]

If you actually work for a "Jewish university," they would have a library and could easily verify the question. Your email "...but it just put money into Chagall's pocket," sounds fake. Please back it up.

Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 04:23, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Sorry if this is actually incorrect (or at least, sounds incorrect), I have no in-depth knowledge regarding this matter, which is why I simply posted this for discussion. I'm sure they DO have many many records regarding matters as such, however. I do not have the time or energy to research this in-depth. Particularly since I'm not Jewish, but happen to receive many emails from random people (being the webmaster and all).

Jsovine (talk)

Here's a link hinting he created art for christian establishments, but still retained his Jewish faith: [2]

"[xvii] The production of Christian art does not necessarily involve a belief in Christianity. Marc Chagall, of Jewish background, created stained glass art with biblical scenes for European churches."

Jsovine (talk)

Foreign spellings[edit]

The foreign spellings below were removed from the article for discussion purposes. Being on the English Wiki site these spellings seem to add a barrier to easy reading of this article by looking uninviting to readers and totally out of place. If a reader cannot read English he wouldn't be here. If anyone can show the special necessity of having this anywhere in the article they can discuss it here.

(Yiddish: מאַרק שאַגאַל‎‎; Belarusian: Мойша Захаравіч Шагалаў Mojša Zaharavič Šagałaŭ; Russian: Марк Захарович Шага́л Mark Zakharovich Shagal)

Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 03:08, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Well for the foreign people we usually have the spelling in their own script. It is quite a useful piece of info, it simplifies search and if English spelling is not well established it helps to prevent ambiguity. For Chagall the positives are weaker than usual: all the spellings are already in interwikis and his English spelling is quite well established. On the other hand, the negatives are stronger than usual as the three spellings create clutter. I would not object in removing the native spellings for Chagall as case of an exception 04:49, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Motifs and symbolism[edit]

Section moved. An earlier editor stated that Chagall did not declare that he used symbols intentionally. If there are citations for this topic they should be included.

The Fiddler, 1912-1913
  • Cow: life par excellence: milk, meat, leather, horn, power.
  • Tree: another life symbol.
  • Cock (rooster): fertility, often painted together with lovers.
  • Bosom (often naked): eroticism and fertility of life (Chagall loved and respected women).
  • Fiddler: in Chagall's town Vitebsk the fiddler made music at crosspoints of life (birth, wedding, death).
  • Herring (often also painted as a flying fish): commemorates Chagall's father working in a fish factory.
  • Pendulum Clock: time, and modest life (in the time of prosecution at the Loire River the pendulum seems being driven with force into the wooden box of the pendulum clock).
  • Candlestick: two candles symbolize the Shabbat or the Menorah (candlestick with seven candles) or the Hanukkah-candlestick, and therefore the life of pious Jews (Chassidim).
  • Windows: Chagall's Love of Freedom, and Paris through the window.
  • Houses of Vitebsk (often in paintings of his time in Paris): feelings for his homeland.
  • Scenes of the Circus: Harmony of Man and Animal, which induces Creativity in Man.
  • Crucifixion: an unusual subject for a Jewish painter, and likely a response to the rise of anti-Semitism in Germany in the late 1930s.[1]
  • Horses: Freedom.
  • Eiffel Tower: Up in the sky, freedom.

Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 04:37, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Marc Chagall photo with Bella[edit]

Hi, The photography With his wife Bella is not true. The woman with Chagall is Virginia Haggard, with whom he has a son, David, but he was not married to her. Thanks to change the photography or the title of the photography. Have a nice day! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:14, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

That was the caption under the photo which was published in a biographical book. If you can show this is not correct, please give us a source to check. Thanks. Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 17:54, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
The description of the photo was changed to "with Virginia McNeill" on Jan. 18, 2009 (oldid=264824210), no explanation provided. It's strange because there're inconsistencies in the description of of the file itself. Chimin 07 (talk) 07:06, 17 November 2013 (UTC)


Section and contents moved here seeming more like trivia than anything worthy of being called "culture."

References in popular culture

In the movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, a print of Chagall's Adam and Eve Expelled from Paradise is displayed on one of the walls of Spock's Enterprise ship quarters. When asked, he explains that the image is a philosophical reminder to him that all things must eventually end. Also, in the song "Painting by Chagall" by The Weepies. Chegal is also a character in Dara Horn's novel "The World to Come," featuring as an art teacher to young orphans in The Soviet Union. The theft of a Chegal painting from The Museum of Hebraic Art concludes the opening chapter of the novel.

"Quote" cited twice, each citation from a different source[edit]

This quote appears twice:

However, "Chagall was considered a non-person by the Soviets because he was Jewish and a painter whose work did not celebrate the heroics of the Soviet people." As a result, he soon moved to Paris with his wife, never to return.

First it is cited as being from Lewis, Michael J. “Whatever Happened to Marc Chagall?” Commentary, October, 2008 pgs. 36-37 and, after it is repeated, is cited from a different source, Slater, Elinor and Robert. Great Jewish Men, (1996) Jonathan David Publ. Inc. pgs. 84-87

Barring the polemics of this quote (the Soviet Union at the time was perhaps the only country to officially denounce antisemitism; Leon Trotsky, head of the Red Army as well as one of two or three most politically influential people at the time, was Jewish), this is needless repetition enclosed with potentially invented citation, and I am revising the sentences to express what needs to be communicated with more neutral language. Undeniably (talk) 08:54, 29 August 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Undeniably (talkcontribs) 08:26, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

The newly added phrase, ". . . he left for Paris in 1922, amidst debates between the Russian avant-garde and the advocates of Socialist Realism," seems to be OR. Can you please explain or source? Thanks. --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 04:57, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

The debate is covered with some degree of depth in the articles on Russian avant-garde and Socialist Realism (and in other places as well) and certainly included Chagall. Personally speaking, I am fine with leaving the contextual information out and only included it to replace the less-than-neutral quote without stripping the information of its potentially political context (in this case being possible reasons for his leaving). I agree with it sounding like OR in this case, and welcome anyone to edit it. Undeniably (talk) 05:33, 31 August 2009 (UTC)


I've gone ahead and revised the article which I've posted here for review: Revised version of Marc Chagall article This is only for the text without the pictures, which would be added back in. The original material was mostly incorporated into this revision except where it was redundant and unsourced. Besides the new sources added, there were many sections added to help break up the body and allow for quick TOC searching.

Anyone interested can review this and feel free to make any typo changes, grammar errors, etc. directly on my sandbox page. Any other comments or suggestions would be welcome. Unless there are any major problems I'll plan to post the revision in place of the current article after a while, since I'm still adding material and editing. --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 22:27, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

marc is awesome —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:37, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Donkey on the Roof[edit]

Donkey on the Roof. 1911-12. 43×34.5 cm. Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

I've uploaded Google Art Project's image of Chagall's Donkey on the Roof at File:Marc Chagall - Donkey on the Roof (1911 - 1912) - Google Art Project.jpg (right). Feel free to use if useful. Dcoetzee 06:51, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

His relationship with his Jewish identity was "unresolved and tragic", Davies states.[edit]

Is there any evidence for this view? It does not tally with anything I have read. Indeed I'm not entirely sure what it means.

If there's evidence, let's quote it. If not, I think Davies' personal view should be removedTishtosh20 (talk) 11:00, 15 August 2013 (UTC).

This article does not have a single note of criticism of or doubt about the artist.

I find that difficult.

Is there really no aesthetic critical opinion finding deep problems with Chagall's line for example, the recurrent claustrophobic curve in the bodies of his figures?


Cheers, Mac, tilda tilda tilda tilda (I have no tilda key) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:03, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Online NewsHour: Celebrating Chagall Retrieved July 12, 2007.